The WVLCZ was one of the Mayor of London’s ten Low Carbon Zones designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions at a community level and provide examples that could be rolled out both within and beyond London, paving the way to a cleaner, greener future.

The project covered an area in a small part of South Mitcham in the Phipps Bridge, Cherry Tree and New Close Estates. Sustainable Merton participated with Merton Council, national environmental charity Groundwork London and others on this project, with our role being focused on public engagement. We hosted many events, with some taking place at the neighbouring Phipps Bridge Community Garden, and over two years, residents of the Phipps Bridge Estate reduced their carbon emissions by 20%!

Another main achievement of the project was visiting 830 homes in the Low Carbon Zone with the Green Doctor scheme, just 30 short of the target set at the beginning of the project. Residents saved a massive £50,558 a year on their energy bills and 834 tonnes of CO2 is saved annually. Solar panels were installed on Haslemere and Benedict primary schools and water saving measures were also introduced at both Haslemere and Melrose School.

Other successes include:

1) The creation of the Friends of Phipps Bridge (a community association) in early 2011, which focuses on local social aspirations. The group has been well received in the area and run events such as litter picks with the local school and eco-focused training. Their summer event is always a success, with people turning up in their hundreds to share food, enjoy games and races and listen to live music.

2) The draught proofing day at Mitcham Parish Church saw faith groups and local residents to connect and share new skills.

3) Savings of around £2,420 a year were made as a result of important refurbishments carried out on the South Mitcham Community Centre.

4) Project partner’s hosted 11 young people in 6 month paid ‘Future Job Fund’ placements. Six months after their placements had finished, nine of these young people found either full or part time jobs, and two returned to further education.

The full report by Merton council can be found HERE.